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β-Adrenergic receptors in human myometrium during pregnancy: Changes in the number of receptors after β-mimetic treatment

  • Göran Berg
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Dr. Göran Berg, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Linköping, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.

    the Department of Pharmacology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.
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  • Rolf G.G. Andersson
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.

    the Department of Pharmacology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.
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  • Gunnar Rydén
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.

    the Department of Pharmacology, Linköping University Linköping, Sweden.
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      Abstract

      The concentration of available β-adrenoceptors has been studied in the myometrium of women treated with terbutaline for premature uterine contractions and in an untreated control group. Myometrial strips were taken at cesarean section from the lower uterine segment and the uterine fundus. The concentration of β-adrenoceptors was determined with a radioligand binding assay. In untreated women we found no difference in the concentration of β-adrenoceptors in the uterine fundus compared to that in the lower uterine segment. The cyclic adenosine monophosphate production after β-adrenoceptor agonist stimulation in vitro was equal in both locations. In the terbutaline-treated women, the binding site concentrations in both the fundus and lower uterine segment were lower compared to those in the control group. The decrease was most pronounced in the fundus where receptor concentration was only half that found in the control group. The results suggest that treatment with β-mimetics causes a desensitization in the β-adrenoceptor system of human myometrium during pregnancy. This desensitization may partly explain the limited duration of the relaxant effect of β-mimetics often seen in the treatment of preterm labor

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